West Lothian Home First

Home First is West Lothian HSCP's new approach to delivering care across our communities.

SPoC logo

"Working in partnership to improve wellbeing and reduce health inequalities across all communities in West Lothian."

A "Home First" approach has been identified as one of the key strategic priorities to deliver this vision.

Home First is the overall ambition of Partnership to transform the way that care is delivered to adults and older people - supporting everyone to remain at home or in a community setting for as long as possible. Hospitals should not be places where people go to live, even people who have ongoing clinical needs. Hospitals are places for people who need specialist short-term care and should therefore only be considered when care cannot be delivered in any other setting.

The West Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership are focussed on developing new ways of working and models of care to manage people within their own communities, with admission to an acute hospital only where there is a clinical need for this to happen. The aim is to ensure that people receive their care and support at home whenever it is possible, with a focus on preventing deterioration and crisis.

The principles of Home First are:

  • Greater focus on better, integrated and evidence-based outcomes for our service users
  • Promoting flexibility and agile ways of working to meet surges in demand and changes in need
  • Maximising digital solutions
  • Whole system approach and benefit realisation


West Lothian Community Single Point of Contact

What is the Single Point of Contact?

The set-up of a community Single Point of Contact (SPoC) has been a key initial priority of the West Lothian Home First Programme. The SPoC is a professional-to-professional access point to community health, social care and third sector teams for West Lothian residents aged 18+.

The SPoC provides health and social care professionals (i.e. GPs, Scottish Ambulance Service crews, district nurses) easy and efficient access to community and third sector pathways for their patients/service users as an alternative to hospital admission.

The SPoC is staffed by an experienced team of professionals with a combination of nursing and therapy (OT/PT) background. The team will take referrals from other health and social care professionals and will screen, triage, access and develop a person-centred plan for an individual within 2-4 hours to safely support the individual within their familiar surroundings at home/in the community.

Why has the SPoC been set up?

"We understand that people don't like being admitted to hospital where this isn't necessary - this is why a community Single Point of Contact has been set up in West Lothian to help support people to stay in their own homes where it is safe for them to do so."

The set-up of the SPoC brings significant benefits to both health and social care staff and West Lothian residents.

The SPoC allows the professional referrer to have easy and efficient access to community and third sector services. It means that the co-ordination of a person's care will be managed by the most appropriate team and will avoid unnecessary duplication and the need for multiple onward referrals.

For the person being referred to SPoC it will mean that they can be involved in the decisions relating to their care, helping the SPoC team to develop a person-centred plan that can keep them safe at home/in a community setting, avoiding the need for an unnecessary hospital admission.

How can I be referred to SPoC?

If your GP (or another health/social care professional) feels that you would benefit from urgent community support, they will contact the SPoC. SPoC takes referral for West Lothian residents who are over the age of 18.